An absolute must read for anyone in media and journalism
It was like coming full circle for veteran journalist and columnist Zubeida Mustafa for the launch of her book My Dawn Years: Exploring Social Issues at The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) on Saturday. “She worked here as a researcher first,” said Dr Masuma Hasan while introducing the journalist, admired and looked up by many present there at the PIIA library lining up for the author to sign their copies of the book. “Later she joined Dawn newspaper and that was really where she built her career,” Dr Masuma continued. Mohammad Ali Siddiqi, Dawn’s Readers’ Editor, joked that recently when in a piece published in the paper he referred to himself as “a Dawn man” he received much flak for it because readers wanted to know if the journalists in Dawn called themselves that then where did the women journalists fit in?
“So we had it corrected in the online version,” he said turning to his former colleague to proudly say that they had worked together for four decades.
“In chapter 12 of her book, Zubeida writes that she has worked with four editors — the legendary Ahmad Ali Khan, who hired her in 1973, Saleem Asmi, Tahir Mirza and Abbas Nasir. But you will come across the mention of Khan Sahab again and again,” said Mr Siddiqi, adding that he was her mentor and mentors became like family members for their mentees. Continue reading →
Conference on Peace in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges, 15 – 16 November 2017, Address of Welcome, Dr. Masuma Hasan, Chairperson, The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Zubair, Governor of Sindh, Ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed a great honour and privilege for me to welcome you to this session which His Excellency Mr. Mamnoon Hussain has graced with his presence. I am extremely grateful to him for being with us today inspite of other pressing engagements. He is the symbol of the federation of Pakistan and those who are aware of the politics of our country are also aware of the positive role he has played to consolidate democracy in our country. With his wisdom he has shown a deep understanding of international politics and has represented Pakistan at many important diplomatic initiatives abroad.
The Institute has organized this Conference on Peace in South Asia to mark 70 years of its founding. We have chosen the theme of peace not only because of its contemporary relevance but also because of its historic link to the sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan when he inaugurated the Institute. In his speech on that occasion he said “That so soon after the establishment of Pakistan, a Pakistan Institute of International Affairs has come into existence is a matter of gratification.” Calling for world peace, he continued, that international affairs effect not only governments; they also effect the people. What happens in one part of the world has its reactions in other parts. If peace is disturbed in one continent it has its effects in another. Continue reading →
Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Address to the “Conference on Peace in South Asia” (Karachi: November 15, 2017). “Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem”. Masuma Hasan, Chairperson, Pakistan Institute of International Affairs, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, Excellencies, Experts in International Relations—and Respected Ladies and Gentlemen! Assalam-o-Alaikum.
It is a matter of great pleasure for me to participate in this conference on peace in South Asia under the auspices of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA). The foundation of this institution was laid by Quaid-e-Millat Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan. Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had a very real and deep understanding of contemporary foreign policy issues, especially about peace, stability and progress in South Asia. I still believe that best results can be achieved by following the principles enunciated by Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan and other founding fathers of Pakistan in our quest for regional peace and security. It is encouraging to see deliberation on such matters in the face of modern day challenges and changes in the regional and global landscape, for which I congratulate PIIA and its team. Continue reading →
Prime Minister Theresa May has used a speech in Florence to set out the UK’s position on how to move Brexit talks forward. With further negotiations planned next week, what did her speech tell us about the sort of Brexit deal we might end up with? Reality Check correspondent Chris Morris has been scanning the speech. The BBC’s report is extracted below.
Future of the EU
What’s the significance? It’s worth noting that a lot of Brexit supporters in the UK jumped on Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the European Union speech last week – in which he set out an ambitious agenda of greater integration – as an example of why they wanted to leave in the first place.
The PM picked up on this – we’re getting out of your way while you move in a different direction that we’ve never felt entirely comfortable with.
That’s good for both of us she implied. It slightly ignores the fact that many EU leaders wouldn’t agree with Mr Juncker’s proposals – but it’s a point that will go down well on the Tory backbenches. Continue reading →
This is an excellent write up from Dawn about the Rohingya community in Karachi. As is well known, more than 400,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh because the Myanmar military is burning Muslim villages and driving people from their land. The UN has described Myanmar’s behaviour as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Ahmed Yusuf’s feature of 17 September 2017 in Dawn is most informative about the Rohingya in Pakistan. The west’s great heroine, Aung San Suu Kyi has failed to address the situation at all and there have been calls to strip her of her Nobel peace prize. The picture above is from one of the Rohingya villages recently burned by Buddhist monks and Myanmar military forces.
Pakistani passports hold no value, at least not to those in power.
“Look at the date of issuance, look at it!” exclaims Mohammad.
“July 31, 1954.”
“And they are still asking us to prove our nationality.”
All of us tut-tut in unison. We are seated outside the Arakan Muslim Primary and Secondary School, about nine of us huddled in a circle as life around us moves ahead as normal. This is Burmi Colony, home to about 55,000 Rohingya Muslims in Karachi. There are other colonies in the area that are also housing the Rohingya but this is arguably the largest.
The Burmi Colony is located on the edge of the Korangi Industrial Area, perhaps the mega-city’s largest industrial zone. Apart from products, Korangi and the adjoining Landhi area produce the largest number of low-wage workers settled in small settlements off the main road running across the two zones. Burmi Colony, like the others, is organised along ethnic lines.
The ongoing strife in Myanmar’s Rakhine State targeting the minority Muslim population has shone a light on Karachi’s own substantial Rohingya population. Who are they and what are they all about? Eos finds out…
There are many in the neighbourhood who claim to have arrived in (West) Pakistan well before the formation of Bangladesh. Most Rohingya often identify themselves to officials as Bengalis because this provides them a chance to claim Pakistan citizenship. It is only the recent events in Myanmar which have made them own up to their identity publicly. An elderly grocer who could barely speak Urdu narrates that he arrived in 1965 as a boy. His son is now father to three. Continue reading →
The Pakistani establishment does not act as clients to USA or other international powers as portrayed in Davis’s book. Unlike many other countries in the region, for example Afghanistan, the Pakistani establishment is smart enough to look after its own interests.
There has been a history of dealing with spies in the international relations. During war times, arrested spies were exchanged with mutual consent. There has been also a practice of killing these spies brutally. Mata Hari, a Dutch spy who worked for German cause during the First World War, was executed by firing squad. The recent case of Kulbushan Yadev and Raymond Davis are two peas of the same pod. They belong to different countries but their objective was same. Both were arrested by Pakistani government and convicted in the courts and given death sentences. Raymond Davis was released dramatically the details of which have been available in his recently published book The Contractor: How I landed in a Pakistani prison and ignited a diplomatic crisis. The story of 49 days from January 27, 2011 to March 16, 2011 has been narrated by him in a novel-type style. He has described how politicians and the Army manipulated things for his safe exit from Pakistan.
The role of General Pasha, the then ISI chief has been mentioned repeatedly that how he and his ISI had pressurized the family of murdered Faizan Haider and how the lawyer Asad Manzoor Butt was kept away from the last day proceedings. The story has two dimensions: one to defame Pakistani establishment as clients to USA which has been served to some extent because there is nothing new for people to buy. Secondly, it implies that how arrested spies increase the bargaining powers of weaker states against comparatively big powers. Continue reading →
If we do not have a reasonably competent, friendly government in Kabul, nothing the west achieves will last. Ignoring the Afghan nation’s needs is not an option
This week’s comment in the Observer calls for a more inclusive role for Pakistan than the one recently articulated by Washington. Comment as follows: Donald Trump’s view on the conflict in Afghanistan was highly critical in 2011 when he tweeted that the US was “wasting lives and money” there. He later termed Barack Obama’s strategy a “complete waste”, saying it was “time to come home”. Trump stood on his head last week, ordering the deployment of additional American troops and committing the US to an open-ended war that he vowed to “fight to win”. So which Trump is right – the pre-election sceptic or today’s ardent warrior? The answer is neither.
When Obama took office in 2009, he raised US troop levels to around 100,000, part of a Nato force of about 150,000. His plan was to turn around a war that had already dragged on too long, then hand over to better-trained and equipped Afghan army and police forces. The handover duly took place in 2014, but the conflict was not over. Since then, security has steadily deteriorated. Obama was right to try, and Trump wrong to prematurely scorn his efforts. But what the 2009 surge ultimately proved was that even the most modern armies, wielding the latest weaponry and backed by unchallenged air power, cannot wholly overcome the sort of unconventional, guerrilla campaign at which the Taliban excel. More than 2,400 US soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001, and more than 450 British troops. But according to US estimates, government forces now control less than 60% of the country. Continue reading →
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